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Mel Bonis studied the piano and composition under Cesar Frank at the Paris Conservatoire. It was there that she changed her name from Mélanie to a more androgynous Mel, to avoid the prejudice that women composers encountered at that time. After many years of unhappy domesticity, she returned to composition in her forties. She enjoyed great success and produced some 300 pieces in various genres. One of her best known pieces is a sonata for flute and piano; these four pieces have been arranged from her piano pieces to expand this repertoire and give flautists more chance to play her compositions.